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Posts Tagged ‘Irene Brown’

Hors d’Afrique (after Larkin’s Vers de Societé)

May 9, 2012 8 comments

by Irene Brown

“It could’ve been a trip to reach the stars
aboard Virgin Galactic flights.” My arse.
The fare’s at least a coupla hundred K!
Be that as it may.
Their pensions weren’t stretching to the moon–
‘cept in a fluked, off-route hot air balloon.

So, decades graded, they choose the Big Game plan.
A group safari: three whole weeks with strangers.
Star lit skies and camp fire meals with rangers;
walk with Grevy’s zebra, wildebeest
(I’d rather be deceased)
an overnight with some poor tribesman

who has to deal with khakied matching hats
(all waterproofed in case of a monsoon)
Howard and Hildas with keen binoculars
finding rhino, flamingos (but no cougars!)
the odd baboon
their purring tabbies swapped for snarling cats.

Beneath acacias Masai guard the camp
as distant lions roar; hyenas laugh,
but sparring in a rare Rothschild giraffe
is nothing to the foreign sounds that seep
under the flap:
Kalahari Karaoke’d make you weep.

Never been inclined to hunt in packs
preferring, like the heart, to hunt alone
and bunk up in my own sweet bivouac.
Savannah star jumps? Yuck! And new best friends?
Too hard to blend.
The whole thing makes me groan.

Hell is other people (I’m with Sartre)
I think I’ll stage a daring coup de théâtre.
Close by I hear a thousand buffalo thundering
and I’m wondering…
How to get out of Africa; just breakaway?
Oh fuck! gie me the mike– ‘A Wimoweh…’


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Irene Brown started writing late in life and has been published in a variety of media and has successfully performed her work on the Edinburgh Fringe several times. A pamphlet, Glass Slippers, was published in 2008 by Calder Wood Press (CWP) and a joint pamphlet with Anna Dickie entitled Imprint was published by Jaggnath Press in 2011. She currently writes for Edinburgh Guide.

Categories: Imitation Tags:

Cruickshank’s Farewell

December 28, 2009 3 comments

by Irene Brown

The rumble of the Lord’s Prayer
mumbled through the chapel
and, with Presbyterian necks re-set,
the piper’s notes tapsilteeried their way
over the damp, sober shoulders of the mourners
who silently tutted and smirked
at the vital ‘HEUCH’
that rose from the back.

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Irene Brown lives in Scotland’s capital and has had her first poetry pamphlet, Glass Slippers, published this year by Calder Wood Press. She provided definitions of two of the Scots words in the above poem that might be unfamiliar: tapsilteerie means “topsy turvy; state of disorder,” and heuch is an expression of exhilaration uttered especially while dancing.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

Gift Section

June 24, 2009 Comments off
Categories: Economy Tags:

The Supper at Emmaus

June 11, 2009 4 comments

just over,
Caravaggio’s Christ
stood in the Tube
dressed in jeans
and shapeless jumper
holding a jacket
for his girl.

by Irene Brown

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Note: I wrote this poem in 2005 after having been to the exhibition Caravaggio: The Final Years at the National Gallery in London which included his painting The Supper at Emmaus. This year, I came across and read the Salley Vickers novel, The Other Side of You, which featured the painting in its theme. I saw it again drawn in chalk on a Florence pavement by a Texan artist, Kelly Borsheim, and her students.

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